California is a no-fault divorce state, which means the spouse seeking a divorce doesn’t need to provide proof of the other spouse doing anything wrong. However, they will still need to provide a reason for the divorce.
The two possible reasons a person may file for divorce are:
- other spouse suffers from incurable insanity; or
- irreconcilable differences that have damaged the relationship beyond repair.
An extramarital affair would be classified as an irreconcilable difference. However, this discovery will have no bearing on any decisions a judge makes concerning the divorce.
What Does “No-Fault” Mean?
California is one of few states with a no-fault divorce clause. This means that neither party is considered a victim or aggressor in the divorce. Any reason the couple has for ending their marriage has no bearing on the court. The only thing a court will take into consideration is the fact that the marriage failed and the assets that need to be divided.
Does an Affair Affect Alimony?
- The purpose of alimony is to ensure that the lesser-earning spouse does not unfairly suffer from the economic effects of divorce. The judge will consider the following factors when determining the duration and type of alimony to be granted: each spouse’s earning capacity to maintain the marital standard of living;
- extent the receiving spouse contributed (if any) to the paying spouse’s earning capacity, potential income, assets, and standard of living;
- debts and assets belonging to each spouse;
- length of the marriage;
- possible child custody;
- age and health of each spouse;
- history of domestic violence;
- tax consequences of each spouse;
- criminal convictions; and
- goal of the receiving spouse to be self-sufficient within a reasonable timeframe.
Adultery (or any form of marital misconduct) is not considered a factor in divorce and judges cannot use it as a consideration when awarding alimony. The purpose of alimony is to ensure neither spouse falls below the poverty line; not to punish a spouse for indiscretions.
The only indiscretion a judge may consider (when it comes to alimony) is if one spouse has a history of domestic violence against the other. The judge has the power to reduce or eliminate any awards of alimony if the receiving spouse has a history of abuse.
Cecil Cianci Law, PC Can Help
No matter the reason for your split, our divorce attorneys can assist you. We recognize how emotionally charged a divorce can be, especially if there is reason to believe one spouse had an affair. Let us help you with the legal proceedings.
Call our firm today at (916) 675-3866 or contact us online for a legal consultation.